Archery is an exciting and challenging sport in which you shoot at a target using a bow and arrow. It has a lengthy and rich history that spans thousands of years, across dozens of countries. It is a popular sport among outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. If you live in an area filled with this demographic and are someone who thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, it may be a good idea to start your own archery business.
Evaluate your finances. Opening an archery business will have high start-up costs. You may want to obtain a partner or team up with an existing gun club. Draw up a business plan to determine how much capital you will need and how you intend to use it. Include the cost of leasing space for an indoor or outdoor range, licenses, permits, advertising, equipment, supplies, archery instruction classes and manpower.
Familiarize yourself with the local laws for indoor and outdoor ranges. Ask your local government office about zoning laws, building permits, sound restrictions, safety regulations and required operating hours. This may greatly affect the type of range you put in and where.
Decide if you will piggy-back onto an existing club or start your own independent range. An archery range may be indoor or outdoor. If you live in an area susceptible to inclement weather, an indoor range may be a better option.
Incorporate your business or form a limited liability company. Then obtain your business license, sales-tax permit and federal identification number.
Find a suitable locale that is properly zoned. If possible, locate an existing range that is no longer in use. An outdoor range must be large enough to ensure that all arrows remain on the property. Expect to need at least an acre. Your outdoor range should face away from the sun, so as not to interrupt your archers. It should include a barrier behind your targets or a decent amount of yardage and safety nets to catch loose arrows. Offer a variety of targets.
Become certified as an archery instructor or hire someone who is. Start with the National Field Archery Association. Familiarize yourself with the longbow, compound bow and recurve bow, if you are not already.
Purchase liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance. You may need as much as $1 million in liability insurance.
Purchase targets, 3D targets, safety signs, ropes and nets for an outdoor range, chalk to mark your lines, chairs, a cash wrap, cleaning supplies, bow racks, ground quivers to hold arrows not in use, armguards, finger tabs, stands, racks, bows and youth bows, if necessary. Purchase shafts, broadheads and bow-and-arrow cases. Purchase T-shirts, hats, vending machines and archery accessories for your gift shop, if applicable.
Purchase a website. On it, detail safety regulations and guides, your price list, available classes, bows and merchandise for sale, league and tournament information, and upcoming events. Consider putting up brief, helpful video tutorials about safety, proper handling and form.
Hire archery enthusiasts to help you run your business.
Get involved in the community. Help sponsor hunting and outdoor events.
Subscribe to trade magazines to get insider knowledge about the industry.
- Archery Fundamentals
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota's Shooting Range Protection Act
- Southern Chester County Sportsmen's and Farmers' Association: Archery Range
- Archery Insurance: Coverage
- Entrepreneur.com: Business Idea Center -- Archery Range
- Esaton Foundations: Archery Facility Planning Guide
- davipix/iStock/Getty Images